Studying at KHiO 2020: the Academy of Fine Art
Name: Kaare Ruud
Programme: Master's in Fine Art
What has it been like to study at KHiO?
Socially, it’s been just fantastic. I’ve made many new friends who have the same interests as I do – for me, they’re friends for life. This was also my experience when I took my Bachelor’s in Bergen – that when your choice of study is based on a narrow field of interest, you meet many people who become good friends.
I’m a huge fan of the workshops here at KHiO. I have received so much help from the workshop managers, in particular Germain Ngoma [workshop manager, casts] and Lina Friis [workshop manager, moulds]. Without them, I would never have been able to make my student projects the way I did. The professors have also been fabulous, and at times I’ve felt more like a colleague around them than a student.
What is your key takeaway from KHiO?
Above all, I think it’s important for me to keep in contact with the people I’ve met. I’ve been allocated a place in the studio at Kunstnernes Hus, where I will continue the dialogue with many of those I’ve studied with. I also really appreciated the lessons with group criticism, especially the good dialogues. It’s weird that forcing someone to listen to what you have to say for an hour works so well – because you nevertheless receive constructive feedback from your fellow students. I believe students at KHiO take group criticism with the utmost seriousness, and that’s totally unique. I would like to develop this format into one where we get together to discuss our ongoing projects and then go out to eat.
Tell us about your graduation project.
At the moment it’s hard to boil my graduation project down to a single aspect. What I’m going to show at Kunstnernes Hus was what I was working on right before the school, the country and the whole world closed down. It’s hard not to notice that something has changed about the project even though the artistic expression remains the same. In the beginning I wanted to reflect the perspective of a child and comment on how difficult I feel it is to hold a graduation exhibition and have to “summarise” seven years of studies in a single work. I wanted to create tall dining tables from the type of Respatex furniture I grew up with. The tables were to stretch up to the roof, but it became a bit difficult to execute the idea that way because the exam and the exhibition – which normally take place in parallel – would be held separately this year, something that made it difficult to set up and display the works somewhere else. Instead, I held an exhibition at the Reception Gallery at school, titled I Would Give Everything I Own and Have If It Meant I Still Looked Up to You. The theme of the exhibition dealt with what happens when structures and performances collapse, which for me raised the question of what happens when things that are meant to go hand in hand lose one of the hands, so to speak, and what then happens with the other hand.
And now what?
I’ve just moved out of a shared flat and into a flat with my partner. We’ll probably spend half the summer unpacking our cardboard boxes. In 2021 I’m going to have a solo exhibition at the Association of Norwegian Sculptors, so that will probably be the main focal point of what I’ll be working on in my new studio. I intend to apply to several exhibitions, but it’s been a hectic period, so for me it’s entirely fine to have just a single iron in the fire right now, and not twenty.
The Corona Cohort, final-year students from each of our six departments talk about their experiences this unusual spring and discuss their thoughts on the role of the artist. (The English version will soon be updated.)